Robin van Persie netted a hattrick as Feyenoord eased to a 4-0 victory over Emmen in De Kuip.

After their cup exit to Ajax in midweek, Feyenoord only have the race for third to concentrate on and a victory against Emmen was needed to stave off fourth-placed AZ Alkmaar.

Emmen frustrated the hosts in the early stages and they got the best chances which Sven Braken wasted. Feyenoord were also dealt a blow with Kenneth Vermeer forced off injured and Joris Delle made his debut for the club.

In the 38th minute, the deadlock was broken by Robin van Persie, who tapped in Sam Larsson’s cross for his 200th league goal of his career.

Seven minutes into the second half, Van Persie combined with Steven Berghuis before firing in his and Feyenoord’s second. The hattrick was then completed just after the hour mark when Jerry St Juste’s headed landed at his feet and Van Persie struck the ball past Kjell Scherpen.

Van Persie was excellent but goal of the day went to Berghuis, who fired an excellent free-kick into the top corner to seal the victory.

Feyenoord remains three points ahead of AZ, while Emmen are 16th.

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